Ron Smith

Ron Smith (1924 -2019) is best-known as a Judge Dredd artist, which is how I initially came across his work. Or should I say, that is how I first came across his credited work, because Smith drew two stories for Jinty, which I read well before I even read my first 2000AD.

His reputation as a Dredd artist overshadows the huge body of work that he has done elsewhere. The Down the Tubes comics site is currently publishing a retrospective of Smith’s work: so far three posts have gone up here, here, and here, with more to follow from writer Colin Noble. They show the vast number of titles and stories that Smith has contributed to British comics over the years. Many of the stories he illustrated were boys adventures in titles such as The Hotspur, but he also drew for  DC Thomson’s girls titles Judy and Bunty. (The UK Comics Wiki also has a comprehensive entry on this important artist.) [Edited to add: Down The Tubes has also just published Ron Smith’s obituary and an appreciation by fan and expert Colin Noble.]

His only two stories for Jinty are the following:

As we have not [or had not, at the time of posting!] yet written about either of them to link to, of course I need to include some of Smith’s stylish artwork from one of those stories in this post. Here, then, are three pages from the episode of “7 Steps To The Sisterhood” printed in the issue dated 23 September 1978.

7 Steps to the Sisterhood pg 1

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19 thoughts on “Ron Smith

  1. Some artists only did a couple of serials for Jinty. The unknown “Gwen’s Stolen Glory” artist was one and Douglas Perry was another (though he did some Gypsy Rose stories too). Others only did one-offs, such as Audrey Fawley. Guest artists, maybe?

    1. Maybe guest artists, or perhaps stories intended for annuals / summer specials in some cases (the one-offs) – maybe even for other titles in those cases. I will try to have a blast at posting about artists who only did one or two stories in Jinty.

    2. Audrey did do ‘Made-up Mandy’ though which ran for 20 episodes according to my list – so not a one-off. Unless you mean this was the only story she did for Jinty, of course? Apologies if I have misunderstood your comment!

  2. ‘7 steps to the Sisterhood’ I know from the Dutch edition of Tina. It started in issue 2 of 1980, and was then called ‘Gevaar loert op Lansdael’ (Danger lurks at Lansdael). It’s a story I liked very much. ‘She shall have music’ was never published over here, but the scan of the first page I found on Catawiki looks very promising. I should check if I’ve got all the episodes and read it some time soon.

    1. ‘She Shall Have Music’ is a reasonably typical ‘poor little rich girl’ story but it packs quite a lot of punch, partly because of the strong art and partly because the end works well. ‘7 Steps’ is more unusual in its approach; I like it too, though it’s not in my top 10 stories.

      1. I have always found the heroine in “She Shall Have Music” a very naff character, so it is not among my personal favourites. 7 Steps is very unusual for the convoluted way in which the plotter tries to get the heroine into trouble – by luring her in with the phoney secret society. Makes a change from just playing nasty tricks, which we’ve seen in so many stories. But it all depends on whether the heroine rises to the bait. If she says “no thanks” and walks away, our plotter is screwed and has to think of something else.

        Any plans for doing entries for either Ron Smith story?

        1. ‘She Shall Have Music’ is not my preferred sort of story and protagonist Lisa is (supposed to be) annoying I agree. I think the ending is effective though, and I do like the art.

          I haven’t got immediate plans on doing either Ron Smith story, will concentrate on creators for now – do you have time to do one or other at all?

      1. Thank you, that is very kind.
        I checked, and I’ve got all 18 episodes. I wasn’t sure, because I saw on Catawiki the final episodes are from 1979. But the only issue of Jinty I’m missing from that year, is the one of 22 December, fourty weeks after the story had already finished.

      1. Ron Smith also drew for Bunty. His Bunty stories included Moira Kent and The Bubble Ballerinas.

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